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The scenario is easily described. Your tank is going toe to toe with the big bad dragon, and you send your melee in. After a few seconds, the dragon realizes these melee are much better targets than the tank, and you wonder why you don't just play mass tanks if it's going to be like this.

 

Well, I don't. I play mass tanks. I enjoy mass tanks, but I certainly wouldn't mind some variety.

 

I like WoW. I like the tank having aggro while there is a selection of abilities mobs will use to threaten the rest of the group. I like that the mobs most definitely don't repeatedly go for the squishiest target with no one being able to change their minds.

 

Yet I couldn't make this happen in PoE1 and I can't make it happen in Deadfire. There's no aggro. Mobs might care who does the most damage (it's even available to player AI target choosing), but that really shouldn't be the tank. Mobs might care about engagement, mobs might eat a fat disengagement attack if they don't, mobs might care about distance, but none of that helps melee.

By all means, applaud the AI for picking the best target; I will not argue that it "makes sense", but I will argue it's not fun to play melee characters when I always end up wishing they were tanks, because dragons just casually switch targets and laugh at my tank. How do you stand it?

Out With The Good: The mod for tidying up your Deadfire combat tooltip.
Waukeen's Berth: Make all your basic purchases at Queen's Berth.

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PoE1:

I am sending only the tank in melee range of the dragon.

Other melees are sent to block or kill his minions.

Although if the dragon is the last enemy standing and is hard-disabled, will command everyone to attack him.

 

Deadfire v1.0.2:

Didn't bother with tactics.

 

Deadfire v1.1.0:

Just thinking of starting a run.

Edited by MaxQuest
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I'd be pretty annoyed if you really could easily go around with a glass cannon whaling on enemies that remain stupidly transfixed on trying to put a dent in the tank in front of them. Sacrificing defense for DPS should definitely require you to come up with other strategies for having your character survive. Go for the hit-and-run strike (running around with a giant two-handed sword backstabbing and poisoning dudes is frankly hilarious), actively maneauver to avoid too much engagement, judiciously pick your targets (go for the weaker ones to thin the herd, eviscerate enemies that have been disabled or strongly debuffed first), wield a pike or staff and poke enemies in the eye from outside their attack and engagement range, pray to the Obsidian gods for them to put an ACTUAL pike in the game rather than the puny pigsticker they made (*grumblegrumble*).

 

Sorry, got sidetracked there. But yeah, the glassier the cannon, the more care you'll need to wield it. I'd say that's how it's supposed to be, and much of the fun in using them as well. And it's definitely viable.

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Rise your alchemy

* Potion of final stand (The recipient of these powers cannot be knocked unconscious until the elixir is exhausted)
* Potion of invisibility
* Potion of Insubstantial form + shield

Solo PotD builds: The Glanfathan Soul Hunter (Neutral seer. Dominate and manipulate your enemies), Harbinger of Doom (Dark shaman. Burn and sacrifice, yourself and enemies for Skaen sake)

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I'd be pretty annoyed if you really could easily go around with a glass cannon whaling on enemies that remain stupidly transfixed on trying to put a dent in the tank in front of them. Sacrificing defense for DPS should definitely require you to come up with other strategies for having your character survive.

I agree, but there should be a spectrum between your 3 con dagger savant pincushioning a dragon with impunity and a reasonably built rogue still gaining the beast's undivided attention. To take some pages out of Blizzard's books, the dragon could have pulsing AoE damage or a debuff used specifically against targets it's not currently attacking.

Out With The Good: The mod for tidying up your Deadfire combat tooltip.
Waukeen's Berth: Make all your basic purchases at Queen's Berth.

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Rise your alchemy

* Potion of final stand (The recipient of these powers cannot be knocked unconscious until the elixir is exhausted)

* Potion of invisibility

* Potion of Insubstantial form + shield

 

Very much this, the alchemy skill is awesome. And I just want to reiterate my endorsement of poisons, with high alchemy those get really fun. Even at only 5 alchemy (and not counting Might bonus or overpenetration), something like Stone Joint will already lay a DoT of 31 damage (scales slighly with PL too, but not much) that lasts pretty much until the victim is dead. And with Stone Joint in particular, even if they do switch target and try to attack you they'll be so slow you can just lazily saunter away and watch them crawl after you in pursuit  :grin:  

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Run your melee characters in, then run them out when they get targeted, allowing for free attacks? 

 

You don't *have* to stand in one place and let things hit you.

How can anyone in their right mind try to ship a multimillion dollar product without making absolutely sure that they don't upset all their players with a degree in Medieval English Linguistics?

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How is that a solution? Once they're targetted they're engaged, and moving prompts a free attack on them

 

And this is why there are a lot of items/abilities with +def against disengegement, a lot of effect that give you engagement immunity, and the Dazed status effect.

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I don't play wow and I don't understand MMO language, so let me know if I'm getting anything wrong.

 

First, we got experience of this when in early POE1 it was pretty easy for fighters to attract everybody and engage them, while others could stand around - and then later POE1, where enemies would actively target vulnerable enemies. There's pros & cons, but the latter provided tactically a far superior experience; combat was more dynamic, instead of just dumping everybody's CON to 3 and then having all the enemies stand still around the fighter.

 

Second, again maybe I misunderstand, but it also depends on how you build your characters, yes? POE1/2 don't force you to build a dedicated tank, or a CON3/RES3 fragile snowflake. After all, your party & strategy will depend on the game's systems and enemy design. So e.g. in BG2 you're more likely to build mages that are fragile WMDs, and even double up on arcane spellcasters and then work around protecting them; in Deadfire I'm more likely to focus on various forms of nonmagical attackers.

 

BTW, for engagement, most of the issues in POE1&2 stem from people being too afraid to break engagement. Just break it, it won't kill you if you're smart about it. Engagement doesn't mean you can't move anymore from the rest of the battle - sometimes it makes tactical sense to prepare, take the hit (and/or mitigate it), and then run.

Edited by Tigranes
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Build melee as off tanks, mix in survivability and offense. Or build your melee with escape mechanism.

 

@OP there are games where the tank gives a taunting scream and all nearby enemies will stick to the tank like glue. I assume you prefer those?

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Single enemies like dragons suffer so much from interrupt and unloading multiple stuns and debuffs on them that there is no problem. Generally I do not even allow them to do a single action in combat as my monk repeatedly kick flips them in the air.

 

Wearing superb+ armor & single strong heal provide you with all survivability you need.

 

If you hate AOO so much, you can also just use Grog. Then you will always have superior mobility over AI.

 

CON3/RES3 fragile snowflake.

Basically 4 out 5 of my characters usually look something like this

 

https://s22.postimg.cc/g206oym29/bestwaifu.jpg

 

and the 5th tough one is usually just for LARP reasons because I make one more out of habit than anything.

Edited by Shadenuat
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"Enemies always attack tank" also creates lazy play styles. Smarter enemies (higher INT), *should* be switching targets if they realize they're not breaking the tank. Enemies aren't stupid.

How can anyone in their right mind try to ship a multimillion dollar product without making absolutely sure that they don't upset all their players with a degree in Medieval English Linguistics?

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The scenario is easily described. Your tank is going toe to toe with the big bad dragon, and you send your melee in. After a few seconds, the dragon realizes these melee are much better targets than the tank, and you wonder why you don't just play mass tanks if it's going to be like this.

 

Well, I don't. I play mass tanks. I enjoy mass tanks, but I certainly wouldn't mind some variety.

 

I like WoW. I like the tank having aggro while there is a selection of abilities mobs will use to threaten the rest of the group. I like that the mobs most definitely don't repeatedly go for the squishiest target with no one being able to change their minds.

 

Yet I couldn't make this happen in PoE1 and I can't make it happen in Deadfire. There's no aggro. Mobs might care who does the most damage (it's even available to player AI target choosing), but that really shouldn't be the tank. Mobs might care about engagement, mobs might eat a fat disengagement attack if they don't, mobs might care about distance, but none of that helps melee.

By all means, applaud the AI for picking the best target; I will not argue that it "makes sense", but I will argue it's not fun to play melee characters when I always end up wishing they were tanks, because dragons just casually switch targets and laugh at my tank. How do you stand it?

So you want a dumber AI and you mention WoW. Lol.

 

I always play melee characters and I play the same as I did in PoE I, D&D and other similar games. Massive damage in your face. With the amount of stats your characters get I don't even care if the dragon has 5 levels on me.

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Build melee as off tanks, mix in survivability and offense. Or build your melee with escape mechanism.

 

@OP there are games where the tank gives a taunting scream and all nearby enemies will stick to the tank like glue. I assume you prefer those?

My fighters and paladins are off tanks (when they take off their shields), and it's a satisfying way to play them. Yet with other melee it feels like I have to open a bag of tricks every time a dragon left clicks them.

 

I'd also like to give a more nuanced picture of how aggro works in those games. Under PoE standards aggro like that would mean you could indeed play one tank and four glass cannons, because the AI only knows how to give one target their undivided attention, other than supporting their allies or hitting the maximum amount of targets with AoE. You can have pulsing unavoidable AoE that means everyone needs to be healed (and have the health/defenses to survive until heals can land), you can have evil single target debuffs that aren't automatically used on the "aggro target", you can have manually avoidable damage zones.

 

It seems a popular answer is to CC the **** out of things, but there's too much "maybe" in landing offensive abilities in these games for me, so I believe I'll stick with pumping defenses and healing. ^^

Out With The Good: The mod for tidying up your Deadfire combat tooltip.
Waukeen's Berth: Make all your basic purchases at Queen's Berth.

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